Following the Rules

An insider’s guide to the laws dictating life within UK and EU financial services, the people influencing their development and policing finance workers’ compliance

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7 days ago

As UK watchdogs continue their drive to stamp out aspects of poor culture within the financial services sector, those tasked with responding to the many ongoing and upcoming regulatory requirements can easily feel overwhelmed.
Today’s guests outline what financial services bosses and board should do to cut through the regulatory noise while still building ethical organisations, as well as the common mistakes they should avoid.
They also detail the regulatory changes they would like to see emerge from the government’s latest package of proposed Brexit reforms and they discuss the questions they would like to see UK lawmakers answer as they seek to map out the City’s future outside of the EU.
Jan Putnis is a partner at law firm Slaughter and May, where he oversees its Financial Regulation Group and co-Heads its Financial Institutions Group.
Roger Miles is a behavioural risk expert with a PhD in the psychology of regulatory design. Since 2016, he has led lobby group UK Finance’s Conduct and Culture Academy as it’s co-founder and faculty leader.

Tuesday Mar 07, 2023

Today’s episode is a deep dive into the culture of the UK’s top financial watchdogs: the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. In it, I reveal that the FCA received 38 allegations of bullying, harassment racism and discrimination taking place within its ranks in 2020, 2021 and 2022, while the PRA received three such reports from amongst its workforce over the same time period.
Together with today’s guests, we discuss the action the FCA and PRA should take as a result of these allegations, how news of these claims could affect regulators’ efforts to police similar misbehaviour amongst finance workers and plenty more in between.
Penny Miller is a partner at law firm Simmons & Simmons, and heads their global financial services regulatory practice.
Christian Hunt’s career includes stints as chief operating officer at the PRA and global head of compliance and operational risk at UBS Asset Management. Since 2019, he has run Human Risk, a consultancy and training firm specialising in advising company bosses on behavioural science, ethics and compliance, and a top-rated podcast of the same name.
In response to the topics covered in this podcast, a spokesperson for the FCA said its staff were passionate about *its work and making the FCA the best organisation it can be.  "We have a culture where people feel they are able to speak up and raise issues if they feel they haven't been treated correctly," the spokesperson said. "As the stats show, where concerns are raised we investigate them thoroughly and fairly."
The spokesperson added: "Non-financial misconduct is unacceptable and we will continue to raise it as an issue with firms."
A spokesperson for the PRA declined to comment. 

Tuesday Feb 28, 2023

Today’s guest outlines how she expects financial services bosses and the policymakers setting their rules will adapt to a “paradigm shift” in global geopolitics that will see China get increasingly assertive, US more protectionist and Russia more aggressive. She details the investment opportunities that she believes will arise from these changes to geopolitical dynamics and the likely regulatory reaction to that. And she explains how finance companies can prepare now for a “mega” 2024 in which the UK will likely see a change in government, the US could be navigating a return of President Trump and Mexico, India, South Africa, Russia, Ukraine and the European Parliament will also be holding elections.
Tina Fordham is a geopolitical strategist who has spent two decades advising prime ministers and bosses at some of the world’s largest financial institutions, as well as institutional investors and the United Nations about the implications of global political, security and socio-economic developments. Her career includes stints at US banking giant Citigroup and political risk consultancy Eurasia Group. In 2022, she founded Fordham Global Foresight, an independent consulting firm, where she advises UK and European boards and bosses on macro geopolitical changes affecting their businesses.  

Tuesday Feb 21, 2023

Today’s guests detail the opportunities they believe that lawmakers missed when drafting their plans to regulate crypto-assets in the UK. They explain how financial services regulation could be improved if the industry’s watchdogs did more to integrate technology underpinning crypto-assets into their operations. And they offer advice to compliance and regulatory execs looking to make the jump from working in traditional finance to roles within crypto.
Andrew Henderson has spent two decades in financial services law. Since 2022 he has worked as a partner in law firm Goodwin Procter’s private investment funds and financial industry practice, where he advises companies on financial services regulation and risk management as well as on fintech and cryptoassets.
Alex Royle is a former trader who spent five years working for UK and EU regulators before moving into crypto. Since 2022, he has worked as head of compliance and regulatory affairs for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at the crypto-focused investment bank Galaxy Digital.

Tuesday Feb 14, 2023

Today’s guest outlines what City bosses are getting wrong in their efforts to improve the culture of the organisations under their management. He explains the anthropological tools that financial institutions’ boards and leaders could use to both better understand the causes of - and prevent - bad behaviour amongst their employees.  And he outlines how he believes both UK regulators and UK regulation needs to change in order to improve conduct within the financial services sector. 
Roger Steare is known professionally as the Corporate Philosopher. He has spent two decades advising the bosses and boards of some of the UK’s largest financial services companies and financial regulators on how to build ethical organisations.

Tuesday Feb 07, 2023

Today’s episode is a special one produced in association with Clausematch, a regulatory technology company providing financial services companies in the UK, US and Asia with solutions to address challenges within policy management and regulatory change.
Today’s guests call on financial services regulators globally and the companies they supervise to work together now to automate the processes around changing and implementing rules.
They also explain how a first-of-its-kind project that they’ve been working on could not only help to kick start an industry drive to digitalise regulatory change, but also fundamentally reshape compliance processes and resourcing at financial services companies at a time when regulatory change programmes are  is only getting more complex time.
Evgeny Likhoded is CEO and founder of Clausematch. Aleksandra Wawrzyszczuk is head of LawTechUK, a government-funded programme driving innovation in the UK’s legal sector. 

Tuesday Jan 31, 2023

Today’s guest outlines how the UK’s markets watchdog is adapting the way it works and resources its teams to ensure it is fit to meet its ever-expanding remit.
She calls on City workers to be “a bit more understanding” about the Financial Conduct Authority’s limits as it navigates this growing to-do list, to speak out if the regulator is “getting something very, very wrong” and for finance bosses to speak up if they want to find a way for their employees to help the FCA with its workload.
She also discusses what changes the FCA wants to see amongst the financial services companies and individuals it supervises and the cultural red flags that the watchdog is “most sensitive to”.
Emily Shepperd worked as director of customer services and change at pensions group Aegon UK, and as chief operating officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa at Bank of New York Mellon before joining the FCA in early 2021. Since then, she has led the FCA’s authorisations division, which the regulator describes as “the gateway” for firms and individuals aiming to work in finance. In 2022, she added the role of FCA COO to her remit and took on responsibility for future-proofing the regulator via its transformation agenda.

Tuesday Jan 24, 2023

Today’s episode is a special one produced in association with Smarsh, a US-headquartered technology firm providing global financial services companies with the tools to capture, store, and monitor their communications.
Today’s guest outlines why it’s imperative that regulators and the financial services firms they supervise work together now to determine industry best practice for modernising compliance. He also explains how it’s possible for City firms to continue to prioritise innovation in their back office in today’s tough economic environment. And he details the common mistakes finance bosses must avoid when seeking to more closely track their employees’ mobile communications amidst a widespread regulatory clamp down on firms’ use of monitoring encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp. 
Goutam Nadella oversees technological innovation and commercial strategy as Chief Product Officer at Smarsh.

Tuesday Jan 17, 2023

Today’s guest  was the first person in the world to be jailed for rigging the London interbank offered rate a benchmark that helped to determine interest rates or mortgages in sizeable corporate loans.
He is also one of the only bankers to be sent to prison after the financial crisis.
Tom Hayes is a former UBS and Citigroup trader who spent half of his 11-year sentence in prison. His release in early 2021 came after the four other former traders convicted in the Libor manipulation scandal had completed their prison terms. Eight others embroiled in the scandal were acquitted without charge.
He had unwittingly made it easy for prosecutors to earmark him for harsher treatment by first cooperating with the UK's serious fraud office, providing them with hours of incriminating interviews before switching tack and deciding to fight his case. The UK's criminal courts did not look kindly upon that move.
In 2017, lawyers for Hayes submitted this case to the Criminal Cases Review Commission, which is an independent body responsible for investigating suspected miscarriages of justice in a bid to have his conviction quashed. His legal team have long claimed that his autism diagnosis ahead of his 2015 trial was not given due consideration in court and has argued that the prosecution used witnesses who were not experts and held back important items of evidence from the defense.
The CCRC has had the option to refer Tom's your case to the court of Appeal if it decides there's a real possibility that his original conviction could be quashed by the court. In late 2021, it decided to provisionally reject his efforts to appeal his case.
Hayes and his legal team have since had the opportunity to push back on that decision and that pushback has become more pronounced last year when a US Court dismissed its criminal indictment against Tom.
In November, the CCRC took the unusual step of inviting Hayes’ legal team to give their views on whether the US Court decision should prompt his conviction to be overturned, which suggests it is reconsidering its earlier position and that Hayes’ six year long fight to clear his name now looks set to be nearing an end.
We discuss his ongoing efforts to clear his names, how he is moving on both personally and professionally from a lost decade, and what today’s finance execs can learn from his story.
In response to Hayes' comments in this episode, a CCRC spokesperson said:  "This is a large, complex case and no final decision has yet been made by the CCRC on whether to refer it to the Court of Appeal.  However, a CCRC committee is scheduled to meet on 13 March 2023, to discuss and assess the case further.” 
A spokesperson for the SFO said that the prosecution agency's investigations into interest rate rigging had "followed the criminal justice process in England and Wales". "As a result of the investigations, nine individuals either pleaded guilty or were found guilty by a jury,” the spokesperson said. "A number of those convictions have been reviewed by the Court of Appeal and none of them have been overturned."

Tuesday Jan 10, 2023

Today’s guest outlines where in the financial services sector compliance professionals will be able to find new jobs and salary increases in the coming months, and where we can expect a slowdown in recruitment. He details the common mistake finance bosses make when hiring and promoting back-office expertise and how to avoid them. And he explains why – and how – financial services execs must act now to help close the gender pay gap in compliance. 
Jonathan Skerrett is the founder and director at Rutherford, a recruitment firm that specialises in placing compliance officers in roles within the financial services sector. 

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